Source 1 School of Pharmacy, Wingate University, Wingate, North Carolina.
Abstract Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection affects millions of people worldwide; however, standard therapy with peginterferon and ribavirin has resulted in suboptimal responses. Thus, new anti-HCV drugs with novel mechanisms of action are being studied. In particular, new drugs are being developed that target the NS3/4A protease complex. We evaluated the literature on telaprevir, a new, oral, covalent, reversible NS3/4A HCV protease inhibitor. A MEDLINE search (January 1996-July 2011) was performed to identify relevant clinical trials, and abstracts from hepatology and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) conferences were reviewed. In large clinical trials, the addition of telaprevir to peginterferon and ribavirin resulted in high sustained virologic response rates in both treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients infected with HCV genotype 1. Clinical data with telaprevir in the HIV-HCV coinfected population are emerging, as well as data on potential drug-drug interactions with this agent. Preliminary data describe the resistance profile of telaprevir; however, more information is needed in this evolving area. Telaprevir's most common adverse events included rash, pruritis, and anemia. Based on available data, this new anti-HCV drug will likely be widely used and may revolutionize the treatment of HCV-infected individuals.